She was short. It was 1996, and I still remember holding her in the Steak ‘n Shake parking lot and telling her that I wouldn’t be gone long. I was only moving to Michigan for 6 months at the most and I would come back to Indianapolis.
I just had to take the job up north to increase my salary and responsibilities before I could come back to Indianapolis as a “player.”
I believe our relationship was officially dead about two weeks later.
Then, I met Gail who had spent nearly her entire life in Holland, Michigan, and as the weather warmed and the frozen waves melted to reveal the beautiful white sand beaches of Lake Michigan, I fell in love not only with Gail but with this cute little town that cheers its Dutch Heritage.
Gail let me know from the moment I proposed to her that she would follow me anywhere in the world. (She apparently sees something in me that the vast majority of women never did…). Gail’s chance to follow through on that promise is just days away.
This weekend Gail and I are heading up to Traverse City for our annual color tour with the West Michigan section of the Mercedes Benz Club of America. We’ll scoot out of there on Sunday morning so we can make it back to Holland in time to watch the Colts play. Then, when the game is over, I’ll jump back in the car to complete the plan I started twelve and half years ago. To quote Tito, Jermaine, Jackie, Marlon, and Michael….”I’m going back to Indiana.”
On Monday morning, I officially exit the auto industry and jump into the most exciting challenge of my adult life. On Monday morning, I’ll wake up in Indianapolis and drive to my first day with what can likely be the last company I’ll ever work for.
There are lots of things to worry about. I don’t mean the part about finding a new house or debating with the movers just how big a jointer has to be before it becomes “excessive.” No, being me, my worries now shift to what to listen to while driving to that first day at my new office…
As Bernie Casey’s character John Slade said while takin’ it to The Man in I’m Gonna Git You Sucka, “This is my theme music. Every good hero should have some.” So it’s important that I roll into my new place on Monday with just the right riff pulsating through the woofers and tweeters.
Right now I am leaning toward EWF. Even in the 21st Century, nothing backs up a hero like Earth, Wind, and Fire. However, I still cannot decide whether I want to set the tone for my career move with September, Let’s Groove Tonight, Got To Get You Into My Life, or Shining Star…. I have 3 days to decide.
FYI… just in case someone thinks I am kidding about this whole theme music thing…. feel free to verify with Gail what happened when I dropped her off for her class at church last night….
Imagine a silver Mercedes roadster with Earth, Wind, and Fire at 120 dB in a four wheel drift as it turns onto the church driveway at about 70 miles per hour…..
Baa Dee Yaa
Say do you remember
Baa Dee Yaa
Dancing in September...
That’s how I roll. And the scary part is… they want ME to be their latex salesman.